Facebook India Public Policy Director Ankhi Das Resigns After Backlash Over Content Management


New Delhi: Ankhi Das, Facebook’s public policy director for India, South and Central Asia, on Tuesday, resigned from her post after receiving backlash over Facebook’s content management.

“Ankhi has decided to step down from her role in Facebook to pursue her interest in public service. Ankhi was one of our earliest employees in India and played an instrumental role in the growth of the company and its services over the last 9 years,” said Facebook’s Managing Director for India, Ajit Mohan in an e-mailed statement.

Over the past few weeks, Facebook and Das were receiving flak over how political content is regulated in India. The resignation has come amid all the drama surrounding it.

Many including the left-leaning opposition lawmakers criticised Facebook after The Wall Street Journal in August reported that Das opposed applying hate-speech restrictions to some Hindu nationalist individuals and groups, fearing damage to Facebook’s business prospects.

However, Facebook India Head Ajit Mohan had then defended Das and the company’s policies in an internal community post seen by Reuters.

The WSJ “article does not reflect the person I know or the extraordinarily complex issues we face every day that benefits from Ankhi and the Public Policy team’s expertise,” Mohan wrote as quoted by Live Mint.

Das was also called by a Joint Committee of Parliament last week. She was questioned about political content on the social media platform as well as Facebook’s stand on the data protection bill.

Apart from revenue generated by Facebook from India, information such as what percentage of the revenue is spent on safeguards for data protection, tax paid by the company was enquired by the panel.

Meanwhile, Facebook has said that data protection law has the potential to propel the country’s digital economy and global digital trade.

Earlier, Ajit Mohan had to appear before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, on the alleged misuse of social media platforms.

The panel questioned Mohan regarding the article published in the Wall Street Journal.

However, recently Sunil Abraham has been appointed as the Public Policy Director for Data and Emerging Tech for India.

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